Born: UK, 1972
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
(Thomas Merton No Man Is an Island )
Since graduating from the University Of The West of England in Bristol in 1998,
Duncan Jago’s work has undergone a prolonged and continuous process of abstraction.
Duncan’s early – doodle-derived – mark making evolved deliberately into his current way of working; the droid-like figures of his formative, commercial illustration slowly enveloped in ever-deepening layers of colour and shade. These figures have now become almost entirely hidden, remaining as shadowy, compositional elements, specters lurking in the gloom behind the kaleidoscopic vapours of (what might perhaps be) humankind’s vanity and pollution. One senses a narrative, but it remains obscured, teasingly just out-of-view.
Most recently, Duncan has taken the idioms of spray painting to a level of sophistication rarely seen in the medium, completely uninhibited by any notions of what spray painting is, or should be. There is maturity and depth to the use of colour that hints at the mineral traces left by geological time, or the complex nebulae of deep space revealed by Hubble’s keen eye.
His work is the result of a stream-of-consciousness approach, where meaning presents itself through process. One might well use the phrase abstract expressionism, since form and structure have undergone a process of abstraction, whilst primarily being emotionally expressive. It is both formally organised and balanced, as well as spontaneous and visceral.
Duncan’s work has been exhibited extensively worldwide and is held in both public and private collections.